The Ft. Collin’s Brewery is located in Ft. Collins and one of their offerings is the “Brewer’s Lunchbox” that provides a selection of different styles from Ft. Collins. I fixed a dinner last evening of sausages that were spit roasted on the grill and some sautéed vegetables. I thought a lager would pair well with this dinner and since there is some “smoke” in Z, I opened up one to enjoy with dinner. Z (5.4% ABV and 30 IBU) is a Rauchbier – smoked beer – and is a smoked amber lager. Z pours amber with a two-finger head and a smoky aroma. The smoke is just a hint and not overpowering and Ft. Collins did a very good job of using the smoke to give Z a nice complexity. This may be the perfect BBQ brew as the smoke and the malt sweetness go well with grilled dishes.
Z is described on the website as, “Rauchbier dates back to the 1500’s in Bamberg, Germany when malt was often dried over the flames of a beechwood fire. Our Z Lager was crafted to be smoky and palatable. Slight caramel undertones and a bright amber color compliment the lingering smoke flavors. The perfect companion to a good meal.” Z also won a Gold medal at the 2010 Open Beer Championship.
The Kidd (4.5% ABV and 24 IBU) is a Schwarzbier or black lager. The Kidd pours black with a small head. Another very tasty brew from Ft. Collins and this goes down easy. I would consider it a session beer because of the low ABV and it is a real treat. I usually drink ales, but I must say that I really enjoyed these two from The Ft. Collins Brewery. I think they are doing a great job and I appreciate these offerings as they are different and I am sure it helps The Ft. Collins Brewery differentiate itself from the bigger guys in Ft. Collins. I look forward to sampling the other brews from the “Brewer’s Lunchbox” next weekend.
The web site describes The Kidd as, “Schwarzbier was crafted to taste much lighter than it looks. Chocolate malt lends Kidd its color while German Tettnang hops create the minimal bitterness of this brew. We’ve added a dash of smoked malt to make our Schwarzbier slightly more complex.”